Federal retirements outpace predictions

cartoon image of workers leaving

Are federal employees forming a line out the door? (Stock image)

More federal employees than expected retired in March, according to data from the Office of Personnel Management reported in the Federal Times.

According to the article, 10,183 feds retired in March, and 20,374 in February. The February figure was augmented by U.S. Postal Service buyouts, OPM said.

By contrast, 7,090 federal employees retired in March 2012. Officials had predicted that 5,000 would do so in March of this year.

The numbers may reflect the continuation of a trend. After several years of warnings about a coming mass exodus of senior federal employees, the numbers have begun to rise. According to a 2012 FCW article, retirements in the final quarter of calendar year 2011 totaled 45 percent more than in the last quarter of 2010, and retirements were up 19 percent year over year, with retirements accelerating each quarter.

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Reader comments

Wed, Apr 10, 2013

I wish I were closer to retirement... I would punch today, but I'm not far off from it, so I will bide my time until I'm eligible and then I'm out, unless things improve dramatically, like COLA returns, and Political Theater ends its drama performances at the expense of Federal Employees.

Wed, Apr 10, 2013

Sounds like the Federal Government is starting to "hemorrhage". For too long, politicians and federal leaders, have been too self-server. I think implosion is inevitable.

Tue, Apr 9, 2013 One foot out the door

I become eligible to retire in June, and I've already started the paperwork. Up until about 18 months ago I was planning on staying anywhere from 3 to 5 years past my eligibility date. Unfortunately our political masters have done just about everything they can to turn the Federal Government into a horrible place to work. So I've decided to bail as soon as I can, and I know of a lot of other people who are also chomping at the bit.

Tue, Apr 9, 2013

Open-ended pay freeze and furloughs hanging over heads, probably for next several fiscal years? Gee, why would that prompt anyone to say the heck with it and bail? At least retirees sort of still get a COLA. If I had anyplace more interesting to go, and any way to make up part of the pay cut (real world isn't hiring older folks much these days either), I'd be out the door as well.

Tue, Apr 9, 2013

From the front lines: One reason for the exodus is that many who have been considering retiring made up their mind with the furloughs. Why keep working at 20% less pay when you can retire at nearly the same pay rate? Also, many who considered retiring earlier and taking a job in the private sector while getting retirement pay put off their retiment a bit longer because the job market was so bad. They have waited long enough and going out now. Expect these trends to continue while we are in this situation. When the fuloughs are over and the cost of living pay increases come back (whenever that may be), expect to see the retirement rate drop to a trickle - especially if the private sector job market stays poor.

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